Fraser announced his campaign Monday morning on social media in a video, which doesn’t name Braveboy but points out concerns he says he has witnessed as a public defender during her tenure and that of her predecessor, now-County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D).
Both women also ran on reform platforms, but neither did so from the perspective of a public defender. Braveboy previously worked in politics and advocated for juvenile justice reform. Alsobrooks worked as an assistant state’s attorney in the prosecutor’s office before holding the top job for eight years.
“Unfortunately as a public defender, I’ve seen kids prosecuted and charged in adult court,” Fraser said in his video. “I’ve seen people sit in jail for weeks, only to have their case dismissed on their first trial date. And I’ve seen people plead guilty just to avoid harsh mandatory minimum sentences.”
Fraser’s announcement comes more than a year before the Democratic primary in Maryland.
“People don’t actually know what’s happening in the courthouse,” Fraser said in an interview. “I want to be a part of that educational opportunity.”
Fraser’s key campaign promises include ending the use of mandatory minimums, the criminalization of poverty and addiction, and the prosecution of children as adults.
“Charging kids as adults, that is the school-to-prison pipeline,” Fraser said. “So let’s stop it.”
As state’s attorney, Fraser said, he would also commit to publicly releasing what is known as the “Brady list,” which contains the names of police officers who have been flagged as unreliable witnesses because they’ve been accused of misconduct or other wrongdoing.
Braveboy has said her list includes nearly 30 officers — 15 of whom she refuses to call to testify in court. Fraser said he would ask for a “systemic review” of every officer on the list.
“We want to stop officer misconduct before they kill someone in the community,” he said.
Braveboy’s office said in a statement that she also wants to make the list public — but is bound by state records laws that prohibit her from disclosing the officers’ identities.
During her time in office, Braveboy has pushed for change at the state level, including testifying in support of Anton’s law, which goes into effect in October and will increase transparency into police records.
When asked to comment directly on Braveboy’s tenure, Fraser declined, saying only that he is “running a campaign” based on his “vision of justice.”
Fraser said he chose to return to his home county and serve in the public defender’s office over a corporate law firm because that path aligned with his passion for the law. At Howard, he said, he organized to abolish the death penalty in Maryland and in law school represented low-income tenants through the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.